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Mid-1970s: NJ announces “Safe + Clean Neighborhoods program” to improve community life

quality in 28 cities
- reduced police mobility + made it hard to respond to citizen calls for service, weakened
headquarters control over patrol officers
- police officers dislike foot patrol b/c it’s hard: outside, hard to make “good pinch”
- state paying, local authorities go along
- 5 years later: Police Foundation DC evaluate foot-patrol- walking officers have higher morale,
greater job satisfaction, more favorable attitude toward citizens than patrol car officers
- foot patrol doesn’t effect crime: tricks citizens into thinking they’re safer, BUT ppl know what
foot-patrollers are doing, know it’s different from motorized officers, know officers walking
actually does make neighborhoods safeer
- Don’t focus on violent people or criminals, but instead disreputable/unpredictable ppl-
panhandlers, drunks, addicts, rowdy teenagers, prostitutes, loiterers, mentally disturbed
- Foot-patrol officers elevate public order: predominantly black citizens, patrols mostly white
but “order-maintenance” function satisfied everyone
- Good order important to livers, workers, commute-throughers to home + supermarkets +
factories
- Ppl = “regulars” + “strangers”
- Regulars: “decent folk”, drunks/derelicts = constant but “knew their place”
- tell noisy teenagers to be quiet
- Rules defined + enforced by collaborating w/ regulars: neighborhoods have different rules but
they’re understood
- “Enforcing the law” sometimes, also informal/extraglegal protection of appropriate public
order
- some things probs wouldn’t withstand legal challenge
- Does “order” causes community fear? doesn’t violent crime?
- Outsiders can’t know how much anxiety in big-city neighborhoods comes from “real”
crime + how much from disorderly streets + worrisome encounters
- Newark ppl value public order: relieved + reassured when police help maintain it
Disorder + Crime linked at community level developmentally: window-breaking doesn’t occur
on large scale b/c some areas have window-breakers + others have window-lovers, but one
unreported broken window = signal that no one cares so it costs nothing to break more
- 1969: Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo did experiments on broken-window theory
- “vandals” attacked Bronx car w/in 10 mins of “abandonment
- most of “vandals” well-dressed, clean-cut whites
- turn car upside down + utterly destroyed
- “vandals” = primarly respectable whites
- Untented property = fair game for fun, plunder, law-abiding ppl
- Community life in Bronx: anonymous, lots of abandoned/stolen/broken things, “no one
caring” -> vandalism quicker than in Palo Alto where private possessions are cared for +
bad behavior costs
- Vandalism can happen anywhere when communal barriers = mutual regard + civility-
lowered by actions singling “no one cares”
- “Untented” behavior -> community control breakdown- panhandlers approach pedestrians
- Serious crime/violent attacks don’t have to happen
- Neighborhood isn’t “home”, just “place where they live”
- Matters a lot to ppl who get meaning from local attachments > worldly involvement-
neighborhood stops existing except for reliable friends
- areas ^ vulnerable to criminal invasion: muggings occure
- Hard for elderly to move away;
- Young men attacked more than older women: not easier/lucrative, but on streets more
- Fear -> avoidance -> weakening controls
- citizens stop calling police b/c “they can’t do anything”
- Urban Decay occurred for centuries in every city
- Chicago, NY, Boston experience crime + gang wars, normalcy returns, families reclaim
authority over streets cause they have no alternative residences
- Police in earlier period help authority reassertion by acting on behalf of community, even
violently
- rough up young ppl, arrest “on suspicion” or for vagrancy, route prostitutes + petty thieves
- decent folks + professional criminals avoiding violence + w/ lawyers have “rights”
- ^ policing not aberration or occasional excess
- 1960s: urban riots = major problem -> social scientists exploring police’s order maintenance
function + suggesting improvements, not to make streets safe but reduce mass ivlence
- Order maintenance basically = “community relations”
- make citizens less fearful
- Transition: police chiefs + experts emphasize crime-fighting function in plans, resource
allocations, personnel deployment
- link b/w order-maintenance + crime-prevention forgotten
- Link similar to broken window theory: if neighborhood can’t keep panhandler from annoying,
thief thinks it’s less likely police called to identify mugger or interfere if it happens
- Police admin say yes, but motorized patrols can be just as effective
- Foot patrols can get direction requests, help pleas, denuncations, teased, babbles, threatened
- Cars: officers roll down window + look at them
- Officer can’t know what’s being said outside, can’t join in + street banter, can’t prove he
can’t be “put down”
- Officer learns nothing, ppl decides officer = alien to be disregarded/mocked
- Most citizens like to talk to officers: gives sense of importances, gives gossip, explain what’s
worrying
- walking up to a patrol car conveys negative vibes
- Police maintain order by reinforcing informal control mechanisms of community

Guilt/innocent determined by universal standards under special procedures


- no judge/jury sees ppl caught up in dispute over appropriate level of neighborhood order
- Police could arrest on “suspicious person” “vagrancy” “public drunkenness”- little legal
meaning
- Society doesn’t want to punish vagrants/drunks: wants officers to have legal tools to remove
specific ppl from neighborhoods when informal order preservations fail
- What constitutes “undesirable person”, why do we “criminalize” vagrancy/drunkenness
- Utilitarianism suggests that behavior that doesn’t “hurt” shouldn’t be made illegal- not a
good thing
- Ppl reluctant to let police perform functions that neighborhoods want them to
- A mistake to “decriminalize” disreputable behavior that “harms no one”: removes sanction
police use to maintain neighborhood order
- Other agencies can see to drunks/mentally ill ppl, but they don’t, esp in communities where
“deinstitutionalization” movement is strong
- Equity = serious concern: need to ensure police don’t become agents of neighborhood bigotry
- Police exist to help regulate behavior, not maintain neighborhood’s racial/ethnic purity
- Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes: large public-housing project- crime rates high
- ^ different now- ppl expect police to “do something”, police determined to do it
- Tiny fraction of gang-related crimes solved by arrest- if arrest only option, residents’ aren’t
assuaged
- police feel helpless, residents believe police “do nothing”
- tacit police-citizen alliance in project: police view cops + gangs as 2 rival sources of power
in area, gangs aren’t gonna win
- Not reconcilable w/ due process/fair treatment
- Law enforcement isn’t the answer: gangs can weaken/destroy communities by being
menacing + rude w/o breaking the law

Difficult: complex ethical + legal issues, think of law in individualistic terms- rights, behavior,
officer, harm- some behavior tolerable to one is intolerable to many so the rxns of others (fear,
withdrawal, flight) may make things worse for everyone including original individual
- residents of small communities more satisfied w/ police than similar neighborhoods in big
cities: greater sensitivity to communal > individual needs
- citizens living in villages more likely than Chicagoans not stay at home out of fear of crime,
to think local police have “right to take any action necessary” to deal with probs, think
police “look out for the needs of the average citizen”
- residents + police of small towns engaged in collaborative effort maintaining communal life
standard, while big city request + supply services on individual basis
- Ratio of respectable to disreputable ppl high: informal social control = effective
- citizen action w/o substantial police involvement sufficient even in areas w/ disorderly
elements
- teenagers + adults who want to use same corner -> amicable agreement on rules about how
many ppl congregate, where, when
- No understanding possible/observed: citizen patrols sufficient
- 2 traditions: community watchmen- v old- deter disorder, alert community
- citizens find presence reassuring even if no effect on crime -> sense of order + civility
- “Vigilante” = 2nd tradition: rare, even though citizens think older cities becoming “urban
frontiers”

Citizens can do a lot, but police are key to maintaining order: it’s not apathy or selfishness that
causes ppl to not aid victims but the lack of feeling that they have to accept personable
responsibility
- officers can distinguish what’s necessary to protect street safety + what’s just protecting ethnic
purity
- US police forcers losing members
- Need to identify neighborhoods at tipping point- public order deteriorating but not
unreclaimable, streets used but apprehensibly, windows broken + need to be quickly fixed
- Police don’t have ways to systematically identify + assign
- when allocating patrol, PDs have to look at neighborhoods and decide if officers will make
biggest difference in promoting safety
- Stretch limited police resources: public housing projects
- private security guards can deter crime/misconduct w/ presence, can aid those needing help,
but he can’t control/drive away the ppl challenging community standards
- “real cops” have confidence, duty, authority necessary
- Parol officers encouraged to use public trans to duty stations: enforce rules about smoking,
drinking, disorderly conduct etc
- Random but relentless maintenance on buses -> bus conditions like airplane civility
- Maintaining order in precarious situations is a vital job
- Police admin will concentrate police personnel in highest-crime areas, emphasize training
in law + criminal apprehension, campaign to decriminalize “harmless” behavior
- Police ought to protect communities + individuals
- police need to recognize importance of maintaining communities w/o broken windows